Over 25 million Nigerian payment cards will be prone to hacking from July 2015 when Microsoft Corporation will end its support for the Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 software.
Microsoft officials told our correspondent on Monday that the decision to end support for both software was part of the corporation’s normal product support lifecycle policies.
Most of the Automatic Teller Machines in the country and other parts of the world run Microsoft software. However, a greater percentage of the ATMs of Nigerian banks run on the WS 2003 and WS 2003 R2.
From the Central Bank of Nigeria’s records released last month, Deposit Money Banks in the country lost N40bn to online frauds in 2013 alone.
According to experts, Microsoft’s decision will mean the end of updates and patches for combating security issues on the ATMs as well as loss of compliance and regulatory certifications by the banks.
It will also mean the end for support on applications and programmes for organisations, data centres and servers running the operating system after July 2015.
Financial analysts are of the view that lack of compliance poses a huge threat to local financial service providers’ partnerships with global payment platforms like Visa and MasterCard Incorporated.
Investigations showed that of the 25 million e-payment cards in circulation, 18 million were issued by Verve.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Wragby Business Solutions and Technologies Limited, Mr. Gbenga Iluyemi, Verve, a local operator, has over the years built up strategic partnerships with MasterCard and Visa, which have consequently given birth to various co-branded cards.
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